Friday, April 26, 2013

A Vivid Sense of Spirit

An Interview with Shelley Duffy
by Ann Baldwin

Shelley Duffy is a highly-respected and world-renowned psychic, medium, animal communicator, and spiritual counselor. Shelley has experienced reoccurring psychic events and visitations from the spirit world since the age of five. As her awareness expanded, she discovered that she was a natural born psychic and clairvoyant. To learn how to develop and control her gifts, she began to study with well-known professionals in the field such as English medium, Peter Close, Spiritualist medium and Minister, Ethel Rowe, Registered Lily Dale medium from England, Rose Clifford, and many others throughout the United States and England. She’s been doing professional readings for over 15 years now, both in-person and over the phone. She served on the Board of Directors for the oldest and largest metaphysical foundation in Southern CA for 6 years and took part in a popular Southern CA paranormal research team for many years. She is a regular guest on James Van Praagh’s website, where she is also listed as a recommended psychic, medium, and animal communicator. She was recently a guest on Academy Award-winning actress, Shirley MacLaine’s, Independent Expression Radio. Shelley is also one of the featured psychics in the Special Collector’s Edition DVD of the film, Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Shelley speak to an audience about Spirit Guides and she asked the audience, “If you had a good friend that stood right beside you and you NEVER spoke to them, what kind of a relationship would you have?” She paused, and then said, “Well, you wouldn’t have much of one.” The best relationships are those with open lines of communication. Some of the closest friends we’ll ever have are with us twenty-four/seven; they are our Spirit Guides and all we have to do is acknowledge them and begin the conversation.

Ann: When you communicate with spirits, how do you receive their information? Do you see an image of them and/or hear their voice?

Shelley: Really good question.
When I receive information from spirits it comes in different ways. Usually what happens first is I will feel the presence of someone. Going with that feeling I can usually sense if it is male or female. If you stop to think about it, everyone that you know has a different feeling about them. For instance your mom feels different than your dad, your siblings have a different feel, and even identical twins have a different feel about them. Also, each of your animal family members has a different feel. Mediums are usually very in tune with feelings or how someone feels. We call that clairsentience or clear feeling. Clairsentience can also go into actually feeling in the physical body how the spirit physically felt. So any kind of physical ailment or pain can be projected and I will actually feel it in my body, but only for a few minutes until the information is communicated and understood.

Next I will get an image in my mind. Sometimes it is clear and in color and sometimes it looks like just an outline. Usually if the spirit wants me to see a specific physical characteristic they will show me that clearly. Such as hair color or no hair, glasses, body shape or build, etc. We call that clairvoyance or clear vision. I have also seen spirits or apparitions outside of the mind with my actual eyes but for readings it is almost always in the minds eye.

And then the words come. They are words that form in the mind, and they seem to be heard even though they are not an audible voice outside of the head. They usually come in blocks of thought, not one word at a time like we speak; however, sometimes it is just one word that is conveyed. Every once in awhile I will hear an audible voice outside of the head, but it is usually when I am relaxed and headed for sleep. We call this clairaudience or clear hearing.

So, this is what usually takes place; however, it is not set in stone. There maybe some days when I am just not hearing well and they have been known to spell the words visually for me or other days when I do not see anyone, but it is all words and conversations. It is not an exact science, so a lot of it depends on me and how I am feeling that day and also the spirits and how good at communicating they are. The client is also really important and how we all blend together.

Ann: When you're reading someone who's alive, do you receive information about them from their spirit (soul) or other spirits who are in the spirit world (non-physical plane) and how can you tell the difference?

Shelley: Well, when I am reading someone, two things are happening; I am reading or sensing the person's energy on my own using my own psychic senses and I am also getting information from spirits. It is mostly my own spirit guides who relay the information to me. My spirit guides know me best and what I am capable of seeing, hearing and feeling at that particular time. Sometimes a loved one of the person I am reading will speak or communicate directly to me. How I tell the difference between them is that my spirit guides feel familiar to me and the other spirits are like a stranger speaking to me. Also, I do not see my spirit guides while giving readings, but I do see and/or feel the other spirits that are present; so, I can tell or even see when they speak up. As for the person that I am reading, I would not say that I am speaking to their soul; however, their spirit is always present because we are all spirits in or connected to a physical body. So, anytime you communicate with someone you are speaking to a blending of their physical and spiritual self.

Ann: What are some of the best ways for other people to connect with their spirit guides? What methods or exercises do you teach to your students?

Shelley: Alright, what I think comes first in the desire to connect with your spirit guides is really very simple. First, just accept the fact that they are actually there, that gets you into the right mental place, and then begin to dialogue with them as if they were a friend that was always right by your side. You can speak to them out loud or in your head and you can talk about anything and everything. I like to think of it as strengthening the spiritual telephone cord. The more you do that the stronger and more effective the cord becomes. You might feel silly at first, like you are talking to yourself; but, I assure you, they can hear you and will answer or comment.

The next processes or exercises will help develop your ability to actually hear the answers or comments. It is really important in spirit communication to raise and lighten your vibration. To do that meditation is usually necessary and always beneficial. There are many good meditations out there and you should probably experiment with different types. Some people benefit greatly from guided meditations and some people have a really hard time following someone's instructions. Some people do better sitting in the silence, perhaps with some new age or moving music in the background. Some people meditate better in the morning and some at night.

The only type of guided meditation that I say is an absolute must is a good chakra meditation. Everyone should have a good knowledge of the chakras and meditating on them at least once a week, if not more, will really get your psychic centers open and working. There are some good chakra meditations out there and finding one that works for you is important. However, once you have the meditation memorized, you really do not need to keep listening, unless you want to, you can just run though it yourself.

Ann: What is the difference, if any, in communicating with and/or reading animals?

Shelley: Well, I do not think there is any difference in the process of connecting, communicating, or receiving information. It does not feel or seem any different to me. I think that all psychic mediums could read for animals if they wanted to; but, I do believe having a connection and kinship to animals is a must.

Although the process for me is the same, animal readings are very different as far as content. Animals are not as complicated as humans; we humans have so many layers to us and so many blocks and animals have none. What you see is what you get. They are in a sense like small children in the fact that they are very simple in their wants and needs. They talk only about what they want to talk about, which is most of the time, what and who they like along with what and who they do not like.

Animals are always in the present moment, never looking back at the past, never holding grudges. For domesticated animals that have experienced perhaps different homes, they are focused on the home they are in and very rarely have memories of homes from the past, unless it was a recent transition. They do grieve for the loss of someone or another animal, but usually they put that behind them after a certain amount of time and get on with it.

Also, animals do not have a big hang up about death, like people do. They seem to have an inner knowing that they will go on and return one day to another life experience. The circle of life is ingrained in them.

Because they are so open, doing readings for animals is actually very uplifting and great fun.

Ann: What can you tell us about animal's intuition? Do you believe some animals are more intuitive than others, just like humans?

Shelley: I believe and know that all animals are psychic, just like all humans are, but animals use it more and do not suppress it the way humans do. The psychic sense is really just the sixth sense, just like any other of our senses. Humans, over time, have learned to suppress that sense for various reasons. Animals do not have any reason to suppress any of their senses and their natural instincts would dictate that it would not be wise to do so.
I would think that, yes, some animals might be more psychic sensing than others, just like some animals are good hunters and some are good parents and some are alpha leaders and some just are not. They have their specific skills that they are good at and their weaknesses. They are individuals, just like we all are. Many people feel that cats are very psychic, but I have had dogs that are just as psychic.

Also, animals seem to sense and see spirits as well as nature spirits. Very often you will see your cat and dog following something with their eyes, looking intensely at something that no one else can see; sometimes, they will even whine or bark at it. I always suggest to people, “If you’re planning on moving to a new home, bring your dog over, before you make the deal. If your dog does not like the place and whines or even seems frightened there, do not take the home. Your dog is sensing and possibly seeing a negative energy there. Trust that!”

Ann: What is the difference between human, animal, and nature spirits and do humans receive spirit guidance from all three?

Shelley: Well, of course I do not have all of the answers from this limited earth life perspective, but this is how I perceive the answer to your question.

Humans and animals have different spirits and souls. They do not feel the same.
Some people ask if animals have souls because many organized religions would have us believe that we are the only beings that do. Of course animals absolutely have souls and you can see their soul when you look into their eyes. Having many animals in my home, I tend to attract animal spirits; I think that they are just transitioning out of their earth life. I have seen dogs in my home who were not ever mine. I have even seen small animals such as rats and birds come through the house on their way to, what I like to call, Heaven.
Usually they are there for a day or two and then they are gone. When I do readings, many times companion/family member animals come through for the client. Usually, they are with other human loved ones or even with other animals from the family who are in spirit. So, animals most definitely exist beyond the physical and they seem to exist in the very same spiritual realms as we do. I have not found in my experience that we reincarnate into animals or that they reincarnate into human form.

Nature spirits are a whole other type of being. I have seen them since childhood. They were probably attracted by all of the animals in my home. They seem to be shy, but they do like to come around and investigate homes with beautiful gardens and animals and even children. Of course, they mostly reside in areas of nature, such as forests, meadows, and jungles.

When I see them, they are usually little white sparkle lights with color in them. The colors can be different. I have seen mostly blue, green, and red. If they want to, they will show themselves by materializing in more of a form, which for me looks exactly like you would think a fairy would look, except that the outline is a hazy white. So, there is not a lot of detail. I have come to believe that they are actually from another dimension and they go back and forth at will. Sometimes, they will super-impose themselves on to a plant or most noticeably a tree. Sometimes, when you look at a tree, you will see a face or faces in there. Those are the nature spirits of the tree or the surrounding area, showing themselves to you.

Yes, all three of these types of spirits can help us if they want to, if you ask.
Many different cultures from around the world and even some religions have used or asked animal spirits to help them achieve some goal. Sometimes, these animal spirit guides are referred to as animal totems. Nature spirits like to help with plants and gardens and even with your animals in the home.

Ann: I've noticed in my own life, when I start to experience synchronicities, that it feels like a confirmation that I'm on the right trail or path. It's like following the, often silent and/or subtle, signs, messages, guide posts, or clues along life's journey. Everything feels as though it's aligned, connected, and in-sync, just the way it's supposed to be; yet, so many people still call it coincidence, when these experiences or events happen. What is your knowledge and understanding of and/or experience with synchronicities and are they messages from our spirit guides?

Shelley: This is a really good question for our times, because everyone seems to be noticing and talking about synchronicities. The reason people are noticing them more is because the vibration of the planet is speeding up and time is speeding up; therefore, the synchronicities are coming in faster.

There are two things going on here:
Yes, the spiritual realms, our spirit guides, our loved ones, Angels, or a higher power ie: God/Goddess can communicate and help us through synchronicities. I like to think of these "coincidences" as bread crumbs on the path of life leading you until you get to the destination. When you want and ask for something and the synchronicities start lining up, you need to move in that direction. It is also a sign that you are getting closer to what you are seeking. When you follow, investigate, and act on the synchronicities, more will come.

This brings me to another and different energy play that is going on here. It is most important to know that your thoughts are very real and they have a magnetic quality to them. Since the vibration of the planet is moving faster, what you are thinking about the most you will see all around you in your environment. If you are thinking about something, obsessing, or talking about it, you will notice words, pictures, and similar stories all around you that are a match; it’s an indication of your most dominate thoughts at the moment. We often think of this as a "coincidence”, but I assure you it is not. Very often those thoughts are negative, such as heartache, anger, health issues, etc. So we need to be aware and be very careful and mindful of our thoughts.

And along those lines:
We are now in an energy place where karma is coming in faster as well. What may, in the past, have taken a lifetime or two to come back around is now happening very quickly, sometimes, almost instantly. So, treat others how you would like to be treated, be kind in your thoughts and deeds, because, "what goes around comes around" has never been more noticeable.

Ann: How can you tell the difference between your own thoughts and psychically picking-up on other people's thoughts? I’ve read that this is a challenge sometimes for people who are at the beginning stages/levels of learning to tune-into their intuition, especially because negative energy is much easier to pick-up on.

Shelley: In my own experience, I do not pick up on people's actual thoughts like a mind reader might do; but, I do pick up on energy and how a person is feeling. I do think that people's thoughts are private and so I do not even try to go there. However, having said that, to "feel" how someone is feeling is obviously a very good indication of what they are thinking.

When I was younger, I did not like being in crowds for this reason. And, you are right; you usually do pick up on the negative energy in the room rather than the positive. Negative feelings are strong because people tend to repeat those thoughts in their minds, over and over, and they are stressed because of them. Also, if a person is feeling illness or pain, I sometimes will feel that as well. Many people are psychically sensitive to others. So, one of the first things you should learn in any psychic development class are ways to psychically protect yourself from other people's thoughts and feelings. I have learned to tune out when I am not working. Not that I do not relax sometimes with friends and family and start to pick up on things, especially if someone asks me a question, but for the most part I can go into crowded places now and be just fine. I have learned to turn on and off.

It is tough to tell when it is not really you who is feeling that way. It is a subtle exchange and many people just think it is them. I think the best way to keep that from happening is to learn some psychic protection techniques, practice them daily, and see if you notice a difference. Also, pay attention to how you are feeling right before you go to interact with others. If you start to feel very different or negative, take a look around and see if you can tell who it is coming from. You might just try sending them some love and light filled energy and see if they and you feel differently.

Ann: Are children more open to seeing and hearing their spirit guides?

Shelley: I think that most children are more open to psychic and spiritual experiences than adults are. When we are born into this earth life, we are actually closer energetically to our spiritual home than we are to our new human existence. So, many children will not only see their spirit guides, but also Angels, nature spirits, and family in spirit, including animals that died before they were born. As time goes on and the heavy vibration of the planet starts to set in, sometimes the connection to the spiritual realms shuts down. Of course the parents can influence the closing down as well, if they discourage their child’s psychic adventures. The adult psychic medium has a nervous system that vibrates very quickly. Therefore, many psychic children who keep their psychic abilities as they get older have some sort of obvious nervous system over stimulation. They could be very nervous children, have a hard time sitting still or focusing, or also have dyslexia or other types of learning disabilities.

Ann:  Is it easier for our spirit guides to communicate information to us through our sleeping dreams verses being awake?

Shelley: The answer to this question is that it all depends on the individual. Many people get information and messages from their spirit guides as well as loved ones in spirit when they are sleeping, through the dream state. Some people can be easier to communicate with then, because they are relaxed and their spirit has let go, somewhat, of their earthly physical life. Some people actually astral travel quite frequently when they are sleeping. What makes it sometimes more difficult to understand the messages though, is the human brain. The brain will often interfere with the information that is being given or visitation from a loved one that is taking place, because it does not understand what is happening and it may actually throw some fear into it or create some strange scenarios to try and explain to its self what is happening.

For me, it is easier for them to communicate with me while I am awake. Although I have had some prophetic dreams and some very interesting and heart warming visitations, most of my information comes to me in the waking state. It really depends on how developed the person's spiritual senses are. Meditation is key in developing those skills and you can also receive much information while in meditation as well.

Ann: Do you have any current or future projects that you can share
with us that we can look forward to?

Shelley: At the moment, besides my regular schedule of phone readings, I am working on some future classes and workshops for Las Vegas and Southern California. I am also working on the completion of my first of two books that I have in the works.

Ann: Thank you, Shelley, for taking the time to interview with me and for sharing your incredibly insightful knowledge and experiences. It has been a real pleasure talking with you.

Shelley: Thank you so much, Ann. I thoroughly enjoyed your thought-provoking questions.

To learn more about Shelley Duffy, you can visit her website at

Photo Credit: Alan Mercer Photography


  1. FANTASTIC! I learned a great deal and enjoyed your conversation very much!

  2. Alan ~ Thank you for taking the time to read & comment; I appreciate the lovely compliment ~ :)